Throughout the history of computing, technology devices have increasingly changed the way we live our lives. Innovations have come out in every field of our daily lives, and the way we give commands and tasks has been touched by those improvements as well. Everyone who owns a smart device is familiar with Apple’s Siri, Google’s Voice Assistant, or Amazon’s Alexa. More and more brands are developing their own voice assistants, to make their platforms and social media as interactive as possible with the ones using them.
These virtual assistants have been included in our phones, tablets, computers, and other devices we use almost every day. Since they can interpret human voice and respond via synthesized voices, they can take care of daily trivial tasks such as sending emails, checking the weather, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, finding news, checking traffic, checking and adjusting room temperature, and many other things.
Most common places people use voice assistants are living rooms (with the highest percentage), and then come bedrooms and kitchens. In London, where Amazon-owned Whole Foods offers delivery in under an hour, Alexa helps amateur cooks whenever they need a voice assistant. Those who begin a recipe and then realize they’re out of an ingredient can place a voice order and the store will deliver it to them before the dish is ready.
They have also been given the label of “a friend”. According to a report by Google, which surveyed over 1,600 voice assistant owners, 41% of them say that using such a system makes them feel like talking to a friend or at least another person. “People are engaging with their voice-activated speakers as if they were human. They’re saying ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ and even ‘sorry,’ according to a blog post published by Google.
This can, of course, put in danger the nature of human interactions, and the need of fulfillment that a lot of people lack nowadays. But in the time of technology and daily inventions, those aspects of life aren’t being put first in line.
Nevertheless, all voice assistants we use nowadays cannot hear us correctly all the time, and as a result, they fail to help us every single time we need them. Sometimes a task is too demanding for them, and last but not least, they can’t always provide a meaningful response.
But, what is the future of these devices? User interfaces have become progressively natural to use. The screen and keyboard were one step in this direction. The mouse and graphical user interface were another. Touch screens are the most recent development. The next step will most likely consist of a mix of augmented reality, gestures and voice commands. After all, it is often easier to ask a question or have a conversation than it is to type something or enter multiple details in an online form. This at least applies to the vast majority of users.
There is probably a future for virtual assistant devices in advertising as well. People who use them to ask for recommendations and sales offers could be hearing the offers of companies that bid the highest price for the first spot. That could not be as fruitful nowadays, but in the next 10 or 20 years, it could be the next big advertising form or channel.
Other than that, these Virtual Assistants are expected to invade every home, and every smart device, making the world a far more connected place. One device that has both Alexa and Google Assistant integrated is HELLO 2. Find more info HERE.
Only in 2018, 100 million voice assistant devices were installed in houses around the world. The smarter this devices sell, the more usage data tech companies have to improve their voice tech; the more voice-control services improve, the more compelling the gadgets become. To those who’ve seen movies like the “Blade Runner 2049” or “Her” a combination of voice assistants and virtual imaging, doesn’t seem as far as an idea as they might have been probably 10 years ago.
These devices are becoming so compelling, they are probably going to help us in our day-to-day decision-making, in talking us out of problems or probably just serving as a co-talker, helping us when we are in a bad mood, and so on. Who knows? In the near future, these same voice assistants will remind us to lock the door before we go to bed or even read us bedtime stories about robots taking over the world while lowering their voice when we start to fall asleep.